The Flower Kings @ The Carling Academy, Islington Sun 11-Nov-07


13 Nov 2007, 11:33

Sun 11 Nov – The Flower Kings
Quite a heavy, proggy weekend for me, after Porcupine Tree & Anathema on the Friday, Symphony X and Dream Theater on the Saturday and then the Flower Kings. Even though the other bands played some long songs - 17:40 mins of Anesthetize and god knows hows long for some of the jams that Dream Theater played, I still was somehow unprepared for the opener that the FKs treated us to - Love Is The Only Answer - lasting a mere 25 mins! The sound wasn't perfect, but then the venue has a bad reputation for sound (amongst some people) and the sound engineer apparently was not familiar with the band, so he spent his time between the audience and his desk as he gradually improved the sound.

I'm not a huge fan of the band and I only own the Flower Power album, so I'm not that familiar with their material, but I did really enjoy the instrumental Retropolis and the one during which there was a rain-like effect projected on the screen behind the band. The last couple of tunes played as part of the main set had a nice Yes-like feel. The bits of Stardust We Are which were played as the encore were ace too. I left after several encores, but as the crowd took ages to leave the venue, they may have played a further tune.

The light show and projections were great and though the crowd was not huge (around 200 according to security), the musicians on stage certainly managed to capture and hold their attention throughout the show - which was around 2 1/2 hours long (with a 10 minute break between show and encore 'because we are old men', according to Roine). I think that given that there was no support, the band should have come on stage at 7:30PM instead of 8:40PM - then those who had to leave early to catch trains etc, could have seen all of the show.

I assume that the later start time had something to do with the venue wanting to sell more alcohol, but even so, it being a sunday, most people were not drinking much anyway and the venue closed down 1 of the 2 bars that were open.

As for the playing of guest touring drummer Pat Mostelloto, of King Crimson fame, I have to say that as I was stood at the back of the venue, I couldn't really see him that well (especially as the FKs bass-player was blocking my view most of the time). I did get a better view of him during the first encore Flight 999 Brimstone Air(an instrumental) - he really did seem to be getting into it and was really hitting those drums hard.

Apparently Chris Squire of Yes and his wife was in the audience and was impressed enough to wait until the end of the show to meet the band.

Setlist: included the following
Love Is The Only Answer
There Is More to This World
Retropolis (including a jam)
Trading My Soul
Hudson River...
Sum of No Reason
What If God Is Alone
Life In Motion
I Am the Sun (full version)
Flight 999 Brimstone Air
Stardust We Are (excerpts)

Unfortunately I am unsure of the exact running order as this list (obtained from the FK mailing list) doesn't tally with my own notes


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